Book-campaign in Norway—The plan and a request for input

Nor­way is a coun­try with short so­cial dis­tances be­tween the com­mon man and peo­ple with in­fluence and power. We think there is a good chance to suc­cess­fully reach out to these peo­ple by just con­tact­ing them di­rectly. The re­lease of Singers new book could be an ex­cel­lent op­por­tu­nity to try out this strat­egy.

Peo­ple we have on our list of po­ten­tial book re­ceivers so far in­clude philan­thropists, jour­nal­ists, young lead­ers, poli­ti­ci­ans, ap­pro­pri­ate NGO lead­ers, aca­demics and other promi­nent peo­ple of­ten in the me­dia who have a large au­di­ence. We hope that by read­ing the book and learn­ing about us we could achieve an im­pact through their money, po­si­tion, net­work and au­di­ence. The gain of in­fluenc­ing such peo­ple could be very large, and de­spite a low chance of suc­cess, even mak­ing the to­tal ROI large enough.

After de­cid­ing who to send to, we will write a per­son­al­ized cover let­ter and in­clude it in a pack­age with the book and send it by post. The marginal cost will be around 32 $ for the book plus postage. The marginal time spent will also be quite small, though, as we need to plan it all and may be do some fol­low up of ev­ery re­ceiver.

This is of course a cold out­reach cam­paign where they will get a book and let­ter from an or­ga­ni­za­tion they prob­a­bly never have heard of be­fore with a quite un­usual mes­sage. We re­ally don’t have any idea if this will work, but we think that there is a rea­son­able chance of get­ting through to some­one. Bur may be there is some­thing we can do to in­crease our chances? Should we do a kind of out­reach be­fore we send the book to them? Is there a good way to warm them up first? Or is the sur­prise of get­ting an un­ex­pected gift in the mail a good thing we do not want to ruin?

What about fol­low ups? When should we con­tact them again to see if they have read the book or if they got in­ter­ested? Should we ex­plic­itly write some­thing in the cover let­ter that in­di­cate if we want them to con­tact us, or that we will con­tact them?

One last ques­tion is how many we should send to in the first stage. There should be enough so that at least one or two re­ceivers ac­tu­ally get in­fluenced. But we do not want to use too much re­sources be­fore we can use­fully eval­u­ate the ini­tial re­sults and de­cide if the cam­paign is worth do­ing. We also want to be ready and able to fol­low up on ev­ery feed­back given by the re­ceivers so we can cap­i­tal­ize

We don’t have much rele­vant ex­pe­rience about this and we very much would like to get in­put from any­one who have done some­thing similar or have other use­ful tips or ideas.

Thank you

- Jør­gen Ljø­nes
EA NTNU, Norway